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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wayne Latu hopes 'dreams' can survive

Wayne Latu is one of those guys whose daily dose of positive energy oozes out in BYU's football practices. His smile is a shiny row of Chiclets. His optimism knows few boundaries.

That's the way reporters found him after the Cougar running back finished BYU's Saturday practice. He paused for a quick interview before heading to the University of Utah's Primary Children's hospital where his second daughter, Amane Kina, born seven weeks premature, is battling for her life.

Amane Kina, which means "hopeful dreams" in Tongan, arrived Thursday after her mother, Mary Latu, was transported by helicopter from Provo to the University of Utah hospital.

"The little girl is just fighting for it," Latu said. "Right now the prognosis is that she will be in the hospital for three months. She has already had a couple of surgeries since she was born."

The infant, named after Wayne's sister Kina, weighed 3 pounds at birth. Her bowels developed outside of her abdomen, a complication that added to the ominous challenge of tiny developing lungs in a premature baby. Doctors have worked to enlarge the stomach cavity to re-insert the bowel. Latu admitted this is the first of many procedures his daughter must face.

Continue Deseret News

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